The federal government will be required to do more to consider the needs of people with disabilities when hurricanes, fires and other disasters strike under a new law signed by President Donald Trump.
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, which was signed by the president recently, calls for the creation of a national advisory committee specifically focused on disaster planning for those with disabilities.
Comprised of government officials, health care professionals and people with disabilities, the committee will be tasked with reviewing federal policies and making recommendations to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are properly factored in disaster planning. The establishment of the so-called National Advisory Committee on Individuals with Disabilities and Disasters is part of a larger law enhancing the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters and public health emergencies. It comes as multiple government reports in recent months have exposed flaws in the nation’s disaster preparedness for people with disabilities.